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Bangkok Senate Election Controversy: Allegations of Candidate Ineligibility and Recounts

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The buzzing anticipation filled the air as Senate candidates converged at Bang Kapi School in Bangkok, all set to cast their votes on June 9. Amidst the chaos, the Election Commission (EC) remained steadfast, ready to push forward with the provincial-level voting for the Senate election, despite murmurings about inefficiencies among poll officials failing to disqualify ineligible candidates.

(Photo: Vruth Hirunyatheb)

As Sunday looms, the EC calls upon the public to keep a watchful eye on both provincial and national-level voting. This call for vigilance aims to bolster public participation and transparency, even though there isn’t a public vote. For those intrigued by the electoral process, there’s an invitation to submit requests to the provincial election offices and the Office of the Election Commission.

Across 77 provinces, a massive 23,645 candidates, having triumphed in the district-level selection on June 9, will be narrowing down to 3,080 hopefuls come Sunday. From this pool, the national contenders will be whittled down to 200 for the grand showdown on June 26 at Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi. Keep your calendars marked; the election results are scheduled to be revealed on July 2.

Meanwhile, a tempest is brewing in Loei, where a group of disgruntled candidates has approached the Administrative Court, filing a petition to halt Sunday’s vote. Jirasak Noiklam, a vocal petitioner, emphasizes that the group seeks urgent judicial intervention to forestall any potential fallout from alleged oversight by poll officials.

Accusations are flying thick and fast. The officials are blamed for not rigorously examining candidate qualifications, with whispers of some contenders fibbing about their expertise or occupation, or worse, being financially backed by cunning politicians to infiltrate the election. The allegations, as voiced by Jirasak, have led to a bureaucratic impasse, with district and provincial officials in a blame game regarding their authority to scrutinize applications.

The Administrative Court is now at the epicenter of this electoral storm, deliberating on the scope of poll officials’ duties concerning candidate vetting. This isn’t the first legal maneuver by the group; they previously sued 28 candidates in the Loei provincial court, accusing them of knowingly entering the race despite being unqualified.

The watchdog-in-chief, Khoompong Phumkhiew, representing the group, laid bare the transgressions of these questionable candidates. Misrepresenting their occupations, they violated the eligibility standards, carrying dire consequences ranging from one to ten years of imprisonment, fines of 20,000 to 200,000 baht, and a draconian 20-year ban from electoral contests.

Nonetheless, these individuals’ brazen participation has cast shadows over the integrity of the nascent Senate, stirring the pot of public distrust.

In a related development, the EC has mandated a recount in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district following allegations of an uncounted ballot during June 9’s voting. The recount targets Group C, where 84 ballots were cast initially, but anomalies arose when 81 votes were expected post-spoiling three ballots, yet only 80 were accounted for. Stay tuned as the plot thickens!


  1. Larry Davis June 14, 2024

    It’s a disgrace that such allegations are coming up at this crucial time. How can we trust the results if officials can’t even disqualify ineligible candidates?

    • Joe June 14, 2024

      Totally agree, Larry. It’s like they don’t even care about the integrity of the election. This needs serious intervention.

      • Sara June 14, 2024

        Well, is it so surprising? Corruption runs deep in politics everywhere. This is just another example.

      • Larry Davis June 14, 2024

        That’s the problem, Sara. If we don’t address these issues head-on, it’s only going to get worse.

  2. grower134 June 14, 2024

    But wait, is there any proof? Allegations alone don’t mean anything. Innocent until proven guilty, right?

    • Liam June 14, 2024

      That’s a fair point, but the number of allegations suggests there might be some truth to it. We need a thorough investigation.

      • Maria June 14, 2024

        Exactly, Liam. Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. We can’t just ignore this.

    • Anna W. June 14, 2024

      grower134, true, but the fact that these kinds of allegations keep coming up is concerning in itself. At the very least, it reflects poorly on the EC’s ability to manage the election.

  3. Nina June 14, 2024

    Honestly, I think this is all being blown out of proportion. Every election has some hiccups.

  4. Dan M. June 14, 2024

    Nina, an election’s credibility hinges on its smooth execution. ‘Hiccups’ are one thing, but systematic problems are another.

    • Nina June 15, 2024

      Fair point, Dan. But sometimes the media hypes these issues to get people stirred up.

    • Felix June 15, 2024

      Exactly, Nina. It’s hard to know what’s really going on when everything is dramatized to attract attention.

  5. academic101 June 14, 2024

    The bureaucratic impasse mentioned in the article highlights a fundamental issue in our electoral system: a lack of accountability.

    • Joe June 15, 2024

      Absolutely, academic101. The finger-pointing needs to stop, and real solutions need to be found.

  6. Samantha June 15, 2024

    Can someone explain why the recount in Bang Khen is such a big deal? It’s just one district.

    • Alex June 15, 2024

      Samantha, it’s about setting a precedent and maintaining transparency. If they can mess up in one district, they can mess up in others too.

      • Samantha June 15, 2024

        Okay, that makes sense. But do we know how often these recounts actually change the outcome?

      • Alex June 15, 2024

        Good question. It’s rare, but the recounts are essential for public trust in the results.

  7. Jenna June 15, 2024

    The penalties for misrepresenting occupation sound severe. Is that standard in elections?

    • Mr. Truth June 15, 2024

      Jenna, yes, those penalties are meant to deter candidates from deceit. An honest election is paramount.

      • Jenna June 15, 2024

        Got it. Seems like they’re trying to ensure only serious candidates run.

  8. Peter June 15, 2024

    I’m curious, how can the EC ensure voter participation when there’s so much distrust in the process?

    • academic101 June 15, 2024

      Peter, voter education and transparent communication are key. The media can play a significant role too.

  9. Emily R. June 15, 2024

    Is anyone else worried that these allegations are just going to make people lose even more faith in the system?

  10. David June 15, 2024

    Emily, it’s a valid concern. The more these issues come to light, the harder it will be to convince people of the system’s integrity.

  11. Tina June 15, 2024

    I think the whole election should be conducted again. How can we trust any of these results?

  12. Rob June 15, 2024

    Tina, that’s drastic. Not sure a complete redo is the answer. But we definitely need stronger oversight.

  13. Larry Davis June 15, 2024

    Anyone else think that financial backing by politicians should be penalized more heavily? It’s like they’re trying to buy the election.

    • Leah June 15, 2024

      Absolutely, Larry. It undermines the principle of fair competition.

    • grower134 June 15, 2024

      But can you realistically prevent financial support? Politics is a game of influence anyway.

    • Larry Davis June 15, 2024

      True, grower134, but regulations can at least mitigate the worst of it. Without rules, it’s chaos.

  14. Mike June 15, 2024

    Nothing will change unless people get out in the streets and demand accountability. The courts alone won’t fix this.

    • Joe June 15, 2024

      Couldn’t agree more, Mike. Public pressure is essential.

  15. Sophia June 15, 2024

    Echoing Mike’s sentiment, grassroots movements have historically been powerful forces for change. Will we see such mobilization here?

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